Ever wanted to dance a quadrille? You could do just that at the “Dancing with Darcy” Regency ball at Chawton House, near the village where Jane Austen lived eight of the last years of her life and wrote or revised all her great novels.
On July 3, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Austen’s arrival in the village, Chawton House will host a Regency Ball, complete with women in gorgeous gowns, men in breeches and cravats (or those red-coated uniforms), carriages and candles, 19th century music, a sumptuous supper created from 18th century recipes, and even some celebrities who starred in the BBC series of “Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility,” and “Persuasion.” (Sorry, no mention of Colin Firth. David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie, who starred in the BBC’s 1980 version of P&P, will portray the Darcys.)
Regency finery doesn’t come cheap. Tickets cost $5,000 (£3,000). All the proceeds will go to further the educational role of Chawton House, which has become a library and scholarly center focusing on women’s writing in English from 1600 to 1830.